Blog Series to Highlight MFAN’s Aid Effectiveness Recommendations for the New President and Congress


With the votes counted and the election results now in, MFAN is looking toward the next administration and Congress for opportunities to enhance U.S. development cooperation in 2017 and beyond. Recently, MFAN called for the continuation of strong, bipartisan support for robust and effective foreign assistance and outlined practical recommendations for how the next president … Continue reading Blog Series to Highlight MFAN’s Aid Effectiveness Recommendations for the New President and Congress

From Policy to Practice: Institutionalizing Evaluations at USAID


In a town that thrives on sound bites and photo ops, it’s rare to find an accomplishment that goes unheralded by its authors. Yet last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) quietly released a major overhaul of its operational guidelines with little more than a tweet. Known as the Automated Directives System (ADS), … Continue reading From Policy to Practice: Institutionalizing Evaluations at USAID

U.S. aid transparency: Looking back but pressing forward


Over the past decade aid transparency has moved from being a little-known concept to the norm. The value of making timely and accurate aid data publicly available is now widely accepted as essential to good decision-making. Good data is the foundation of rigorous monitoring and real-time feedback, and is at the heart of transparency and … Continue reading U.S. aid transparency: Looking back but pressing forward

Sustainability Through Local Ownership: Coming Soon to More USAID Missions


In a return to best practices, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s new policy and strategy guidance (ADS) tells the Missions to operationalize sustainability through local ownership in all parts of the program cycle. This is great news for many USAID career staff whose experience has shown that development programs cannot be effectively … Continue reading Sustainability Through Local Ownership: Coming Soon to More USAID Missions

Letter to USAID Administrator Gayle Smith on revised ADS guidance


Download a formatted version of the letter here. September 29, 2016 The Honorable Gayle Smith Administrator U.S. Agency for International Development Ronald Reagan Building Washington, D.C. 20523 Attn: Ms. Michele Sumilas Dear Administrator Smith: On behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), we are writing to follow up on our March 2016 letter and … Continue reading Letter to USAID Administrator Gayle Smith on revised ADS guidance

Ownership and Sustainability are Foundational in USAID’s Policy Revisions


On September 7th the US Agency for International Development (USAID) released full revisions to the Automated Directives System (ADS) chapters 200 and 201. For those unfamiliar with the ADS, it articulates USAID’s policy and procedures on a wide range of topics. From USAID’s hiring process to how Missions negotiate and develop multi-million dollar bilateral agreements … Continue reading Ownership and Sustainability are Foundational in USAID’s Policy Revisions

The Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act is Law! Now What?


President Obama recently signed the Foreign Aid Accountability and Transparency Act, a bipartisan bill that will help to increase the accountability of U.S. foreign assistance resources so that they can be tracked, measured, and allocated to have the most impact. As one of our top priorities from our ACCOUNTdown to 2017 campaign, we’re thrilled to … Continue reading The Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act is Law! Now What?

Show Me the Money: How Transparency and Evaluation Can Make Aid Better


It’s no secret that foreign assistance is an invaluable part of U.S. foreign policy. Aid is a strong expression of U.S. moral, economic, and national security imperatives, and it helps advance all three. It’s also no secret that foreign assistance resources make up a tiny part of overall U.S. spending. The entire International Affairs Budget … Continue reading Show Me the Money: How Transparency and Evaluation Can Make Aid Better

New Study Reaffirms Investments Can Yield Convincing Development Returns


Last July, the Financing for Development Conference in Ethiopia saw more than 30 donor and developing nations come together to recognize domestic resource mobilization (DRM), and the role that it can play in making global development truly sustainable. Through the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI), key donors, including the United States, enthusiastically endorsed DRM and pledged … Continue reading New Study Reaffirms Investments Can Yield Convincing Development Returns

USAID’s Ex-Post Evaluations Identified Programs That Really Worked


The concept of ex-post evaluation is simple and powerful: to identify the programs that delivered lasting benefits. Not only what were the results while millions in donor aid were being invested, but what were the results two, three or five years later? Were the local government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and communities able to maintain the … Continue reading USAID’s Ex-Post Evaluations Identified Programs That Really Worked